Attention, all art lovers! A stone’s throw from the Globe Theatre and the Millennium Bridge, in the district of Southwark, Tate Modern is the most visited modern art museum in the world. Undoubtedly a must-see! 😍
👉 Want to know more about London’s history? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free tour of the city.
You’re free to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide at the end of the tour!
Tate Modern in a few words
On the south bank of the Thames, in the heart of Southwark, Tate Modern is a must-see for any visitor staying in London.
The numbers don’t lie! Visitors are more numerous with each passing year, so much so that Tate Modern is now the most visited museum of modern art in the world!
The recipe for Tate Modern’s success? Impressive collections (over 70,000 works of art!), incomparable temporary exhibitions and an absolutely spectacular setting!
Follow the guide!
Visiting Tate Modern
Head south of the Thames! Opened in 2000, Tate Modern is housed in the former Bankside Power Station, built in the 1940s.
The Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron worked on the spectacular transformation of the power station into a museum. This first building was later named The Boiler House.
A 22,500 m2 extension – also designed by the Swiss architects – opened its doors in 2016. This second building is called Switch House.
🤓 Audioguides & guided tours 🤓
If you don’t want to miss anything, Captain Ulysses warmly advises you:
– to opt for an audioguide: on sale on site / included in the London Pass
– to embark on a free guided tour: more information here.
👉 The Boiler House: the Boiler House is the original building of the Tate Modern. Housed in an old disused power plant, it houses works of art ranging from the 1900s to the present day.
👉 The Switch House: adjoining the Boiler House, the Switch House is the museum’s extension opened in 2016. This 10-story high tower (65 meters) built over the old oil tanks displays works from the 1960s to the present day.
👉 The Turbine Hall: bridging the gap between the Boiler House and the Switch House, the Turbine Hall corresponds to the former engine room of the power plant. This huge space covers a surface area of 3,400 m2. Monumental works of art are sometimes exhibited in this space.
👉 The Tanks: these former fuel oil tanks have been transformed into rooms dedicated to live art performances, dance and experimental cinema.
👉 Panoramic terraces: Tate Modern also boasts several panoramic terraces offering absolutely stunning views of the Thames, Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Tate Modern’s permanent collections
Tate Modern’s permanent collections invite visitors to discover incredibly diverses works of art: paintings, of course, but also sculpture, photography, experimental videos, etc.
Unlike most museums, Tate Modern’s collections are organized thematically, not chronologically. You will find 8 spaces dedicated to different themes:
- Start Display (= an introduction to modern art)
- Artist and Society
- In The Studio
- Materials and Objects
- Media Networks
- Between Object and Architecture
- Performer and Participant
- Living Cities
Tate Modern exhibits works of art by a host of iconic artists, including Matisse, Rothko, Picasso, Klee, Delaunay, Braque, Dalí, Warhol, Bacon, and more.
Tate Modern temporary exhibitions
Tate Modern temporary exhibitions often attract thousands of visitors.
Find out more about the current exhibitions here.
Getting to Tate Modern
Tate Modern faces St. Paul’s Cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge.
The nearest public transport is :
- Metro: Southwark station (Jubilee line)
- Bus: RV1, 381, N343, N381, 45, 63, 100, N63, N89, 344
Hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses also stop in the vicinity and are a great way to get around London’s major sites and monuments.
Tate Modern is open:
- Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm
- Friday to Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm
The last entry is one hour before closing time. The museum is exceptionally closed from December 24 to 26.
Good news! Admission is free! You will however have to buy a ticket in order to access the temporary exhibitions (prices vary according to the exhibition).
An audioguide is available in several languages.
💵🤩👍 London Pass & London Explorer Pass 👍🤩💵
If you’re planning on spending a few days in the English capital, you might want to consider investing in a city card: the London Pass or the London Explorer Pass. Captain Ulysses has a soft spot for the former, which gives access to 80 attractions, including many of London’s most iconic museums and monuments (the Tower of London, The Shard, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge, Churchill War Rooms, Thames River Cruise…).
👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!
Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all the Captain’s suggestions in London!
🛏️ Accommodation: If you haven’t booked your accommodation in London yet, Captain Ulysses highly recommends checking out Booking.com. From youth hostels to luxury boutique hotels: you will find exactly what you need!
If your budget is limited, the Captain recommends looking for an accommodation in Paddington or Kensington: the options are generally more affordable than in the centre and the location is quite convenient.
If you’re budget isn’t too tight, the Park Plaza London Riverbank is a nice option.
And if you’re looking for a very nice hotel, the Captain most definitely recommends the Goring: it is an iconic property right in the centre of London.
🎟️ Activities: For your visits and activities in London, the Captain recomends checking out GetYourGuide, Civitatis and Tiqets. Skip-the-line tickets, cruises, guided tours, activities off the beaten tracks… You will undoubtedly find what everything you need… and more! Keep in mind that London is a very touristy city: if you want to avoid queuing for hours, skip-the-line tickets are great time savers!
🎫 Citypass : If you’re spending a few days in the capital, Captain Ulysse recommends investing in a city pass which will give you access to the most iconic monuments and attractions in London. There are 2 options: the London Explorer Pass and the London Pass (which also includes a 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.). These passes have 2 major advantages: the discounts and the skip-the-line accesses.
🚐 Transfers: London is a huge city and the airports are quite distant from the city centre. If you want to avoid spending hours in public transports to get to your hotel, you can book a transfer from the airport. A car will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you wherever you want in the city centre. Find out more here.
🚌 Transports: The capital being quite spread out, there’s no avoiding taking public transports. The good news is that they are quite easy to navigate! You can also opt for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour, which includes an audioguide and stops at the main attractions and monuments in the city.
✈️ Flights: To get to London, there are plenty of options: planes, buses, trains and even ferries. For your flights, the Captain highly recommends that checking out Skyscanner: you’ll be able to find the best deal for the dates on which you plan on traveling to London. If your dates are flexible, you will even be able to compare prices over several weeks in order to find THE best deal. London is also easily accessible by bus and train. To book your trips, the Captain warmly recommends Omio, which allows you to travel through 44 countries with 207 train and bus companies, including Eurostar.